Piano Street Magazine

New Piano Piece by Brahms Discovered: Albumblatt in A minor – Free Piano Score

January 25th, 2012 in Piano News by | 16 comments

A piano score of the recently rediscovered piano piece by Johannes Brahms, Albumblatt in A minor, has been published in an Urtext edition by Piano Street today.

Free sheet music to download and print:
Brahms – Albumblatt in A minor

(File updated May 27, now inlcuding fingering and work comments.)


András Schiff plays “Albumblatt” in A minor by Johannes Brahms

The theme reused in the Scherzo of Brahms’ Horn Trio

The $158,500 album

The piece was discovered by the auction house Doyle of New York City, where the “Album Amicorum of Arnold Wehner” was sold for $158,500 in April last year.
The album belonged to Wehner who was director of music at Göttingen in the 1850s and contains musical contributions and quotations from important contemporary composers and musicians including Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Liszt.
Musicologists believe that Brahms wrote this piano piece in Arnold Wehner’s album in June of 1853, when he and his friend Edouard Remenyi were visiting Göttingen.

Recycled theme

The theme was also used by Brahms in the Scherzo’s trio section in his trio for piano, violin and French horn, composed 12 years later. The new finding is however not a brief sketch but a finished manuscript of a complete piano piece, clearly written and including performance markings.

Who was first?

The album was catalogued and described in Doyle New York’s sale catalogue of April 20th 2011 with the assistance of Dr. Michael Struck of the Johannes Brahms Gesamtausgabe, Kiel. However, earlier this month BBC claimed that conductor and musicologist Christopher Hogwood discovered the piece and that the world premiere was to be performed by András Schiff in a broadcast on January 21. Although Hogwood’s discovery appeared to be slightly misleading and the piece had already been publicly performed, the short video by BBC including an interesting discussion and samples of Schiff’s masterful performance is well worth watching:
BBC Radio 3: András Schiff plays a lost work by Johannes Brahms

The new edition

A scanned copy of the manuscript has been online on Doyle New York as part of their April 2011 catalog, a transcription of it appeared on IMSLP this week and the piece will be included in Bärenreiter’s new edition of Brahms’ Horn Trio to be released in February.
Piano Street’s new urtext score may very well be the first officially published edition of this wonderful little piece. Regardless, we are happy to share it with the piano playing world for free to play and enjoy!

Please share it with your friends by posting the following link:
…and post your comments about the piece below!

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  • Sophie says:

    It’s a very beautiful piece. Thank you for the score, Will go practice it now!

  • Adam Gray says:

    Great to find this score here! I heard Shiffs performance online and couldn’t find it anywhere else. As he says in the video, it could be one of Brahms late Intermezzos. Since it is reasonably easy to play compared to most other Brahms, it has potential to be a very popular piano piece indeed.

  • Erika Bulow-Osborne says:

    The Nash Ensemble performed Brahms’Horn -Trio yesterday, 28th January in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. A wonderful interpretation. Obviously the lately discovered ‘lost’ piece was mentioned in the programme-notes.

    I am grateful for the free down-load of this lovely Album-Blatt.
    Erika Bulow-Osborne

  • CLARIOLA says:

    Thank You very much. It is an easy piece with a beautiful sound. I hope everybody, specially the piano students can enjoy it .Hugs

  • Enrico Elisi says:

    This is an absolutely wonderful piece.

    Perhaps I amy not stand correct, but I might have been the first (or one of the first people at least) to perform this work in the USA–what an honor!–on 1/29/2012, eight days after Andras Schiff, in Kilbourn Hall, at the Eastman School of music. I included it as an encore at the end of my recital and explained the fascinating story of its discovery to the audience.

    What an immense pleasure!

    Enrico Elisi

  • Enrico Elisi says:


    After studying the manuscript I discovered that the Sibelius (or Finale?) copy available on the website of the Petrucci Library contains several errors, whereas the copy posted on this website reflects what is found in the autograph.

    Enrico Elisi

  • Gerrit Schuil says:

    After having a good look at the manuscript and the printed version as well, I am totally amazed how little attention Mr. Schiff gives to what Brahms wrote. His playing of this marvelous little gem is totally boring and lacks any musicality.

  • A. T. Atekeez says:

    Nice little piece of music, but it will not catch on as well as Beethoven’s Fur Elise, as just one example. Very dull piano playing by Schiff, who has no idea who Brahms was, musically.

  • kenneth says:

    thanks for the free piano score! nice piece… :-)

  • Samuel Contino says:

    Upon playing the newly discovered “Albumblatt” of Brahms, I felt that, although being an early composition, it was rather simple compared to the three sonatas written in the same year (1853). Andre Schiff’s interpretation was definitely lacking in musicality since he paid very little attention to the dynamics, especially on measures 31 through 50. However, this piece could be a nice encore to play.

    Thank you for the free piano score!!

  • Pilar Sánchez says:

    I like Brahms very much, he is capable to compose some very sweet music like this one as well as some very strong ones as the simphonies or the concerts.
    I loved it when I heard it and I would like to play it in my piano

  • I found this little piece of Brahms early morning today (1.1.2013) and I will play it as encore in my concert this evening – becaus I am living in Göttingen and Brahms was very often guest in my town. He visited for example only 20 meters away from my little concert hall Clavier-Salon http://www.clavier-salon-goettingen.de Rebekka Mendelssohn and her husband Dirichlet.
    This new found piece of the young Brahms is a loveley example of his genius in his early years. Thank very much for presenting this so well done!

  • Anonymous says:

    What’s up, yeah this post is truly fastidious and I have learned lot of
    things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  • Rolland says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little
    research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to post it here on your web site.

  • Maya says:

    I’m not sure where you found this from, but great piece! I needs to spend some time learning it to understanding more of Brahms early composition. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this for my mission.

  • Norman Campbell says:

    Brahms would have been–what? twenty in 1853. And yes! The music was incorporated into the horn trio about ten years later.

    But the music in that horn trio–so much fuller, more satisfying! The composer (now in his maturity) is expanding his original idea. “Okay–let’s make this a bit richer. Let’s unpackage this.”

    You see this at the end. Brahms delays that final resolution. “Let’s linger a bit–take our time.” But hey! I have no complaints. That was a marvelous find. What a great man! What a great composer!

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